My dog stopped eating and drinking

My dog stopped eating and drinking blog NewDoggy.com

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My dog stopped eating and drinking

Just like parents with young children, dog owners revel in watching their dogs enjoy their food. After all that is what dogs are supposedly meant to do. Dogs are notorious for having a big appetite. They are also well known for eating anything just about edible, and even the unthinkable. It is therefore, very reasonable to get worried when a dog suddenly stops eating, drinking, or abstains from both.

Why did my dog stop drinking? How dangerous is it?

Dogs can survive for a significant amount of time without food but like most other animals, dogs need a steady supply of drinking water in order to survive for more than a few days and keep their metabolism running smoothly. Therefore when a dog stops drinking it is cause for alarm.

Dogs can stop drinking for a myriad of reasons. It is normal for older dogs to drink less due a decreased sensation of thirst, and also because of reduced water loss through panting due to reduced exercise. However, although this is normal, it does not mean that reduced drinking is healthy. Reduced drinking makes older dogs more prone to overheating and constipation. However old age is only one factor that might contribute to decreased or complete lack of thirst. Psychological or physical trauma might also cause partial or complete abstinence from drinking. Psychological trauma might set in after the animal goes through a life-altering, stressful experience such as a major change in its daily routine or even traumatic experiences such as surgery. Physical trauma can lead to serious injuries that might hinder the dog from drinking comfortably, or from drinking at all. Such physical traumas can be fractures of the mandible or other structures that have to do with allowing normal eating and drinking. There are also other injuries that keep the dog from reaching its food and water bowls. The dog might also stop drinking completely if it has something stuck in its oesophagus. Another factor can be if the dog finds the water provided to have a strange or unpleasant smell and taste. This can happen if the dog is relocated to another country; something becoming increasingly common as its becoming common practice to buy or adopt dogs from foreign countries. Last but not least, one should not exclude certain medical conditions such as diabetes, and infections of the urinary system that might be causing the dog’s unwillingness to drink. It is often the case that the dog goes back to its normal drinking habits once the issue is solved.

But what if the dog stops eating?

Lack of appetite is not as dangerous as not drinking if a dog was in good physical condition before its ailment. The body, normally, has enough fat stored under its skin and between its organs, to keep the animal going for a couple of days or even weeks. However, an animal cannot go without food indefinitely, as this will inevitably emaciate the animal leading to its eventual death.  A dog might stop eating for many of the same reasons as when it stops drinking. Besides an actual blockage or injury of the mouth and oesophagus, a dog might find difficulties to eat due to some congenital deformities. Examples of such deformities can be if the dog has a cleft palate, a severe under-bite or over-bite, mega-oesophagus and some other conditions related with the oral and digestive system. Such congenital conditions can either be solved through surgery or not at all. In the case that a dog has a deformity that can’t be solved by surgery, euthanasia might be a humane option in order to avoid letting the dog live a life full of unnecessary suffering. In some cases like mega-oesophagus, the dog might be able to survive and lead a decent life if owners have the energy and motivation to feed such dogs using specific methods. However, these methods can be very time consuming and not everyone feels able to live with the kind of commitment that these dogs demand.

So how can I go about it?

One should not immediately feel alarmed if a dog is not eating or drinking as much as usual. Attempt to entice the dog to drink during the first 24 hours of your dog not drinking. Do this by adding some sort of flavouring to the dog’s drinking water. A good idea is to give the dog plain meat broth, or mix a little bit of sugar or honey in its water. Usually this is enough to motivate it to drink as more often than not most dogs need little motivation to start drinking again within the first 24 hours of abstaining from drinking water. However, one should be concerned if a dog stops drinking for more than 24 hours or stops drinking water in hot weather. In that case do not wait and take the dog to your trusted veterinarian.

It is less urgent if the dog stops eating. If the dog’s lack of appetite persists, do take the dog to a veterinarian. However, in the meantime, you can try feeding the dog other things that it might find more appetizing. One good dish is chicken and rice. If the dog is also suffering from diarrhoea one can add some pumpkin and carrots to help increase plant fibre in its diet and form firmer stools. Please do your research, and contact your veterinarian for more information before feeding your dog home cooked food. There are a number of food products that are not good for dogs to consume, and feeding these to your dog will only make your dog get from bad to worse.


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The following is needed to bring a puppy into Dubai:


  1. All dogs entering Dubai from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Dubai must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Dubai must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Dubai specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Dubai must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Dubai must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Dubai.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Abu Dhabi:


  1. All dogs entering Abu Dhabi from a low-risk country at least 15 weeks old, and those entering from a high-risk country must be at least 27 weeks old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Abu Dhabi must be equipped with either a 9 or 15 digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment. Valid for 30 days.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Abu Dhabi specific vaccinations: Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvo Virus, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Rabies.
  5. Rabies Titer Test * – All dogs entering Abu Dhabi must be tested for rabies no later than 14 days before the planned travel date. ( Only from specific
  6. Parasite check - All pets travelling to Abu Dhabi must receive preventive treatments against internal and external parasites in the 14 days before travel by an authorised and competent vet.
  7. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Abu Dhabi.
  8. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.


* The United Arab Emirates classifies all countries into two rabies categories:
  • Low-risk countries: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Falkland Island, Fiji, Finland, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Montenegro, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, Portugal, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, and Vanuatu.
  • High-risk countries: All other countries are considered high-risk countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Hong Kong:


  1. All dogs entering Hong Kong must be at least 3 months old.
  2. Microchip – All dogs entering and residing in Hong Kong must be equipped with either a 9 or 15-digit microchip.
  3. Import Permit – All dogs entering Hong Kong must be equipped with a Special Permit from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Valid for up to 6 months.
  4. Vaccinations* – Depending on the country of origin, your pet might need a rabies shot on top of all the age appropriate vaccinations. Hong Kong specific vaccinations: Canine distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus and rabies.
  5. Health Check – A Health Check by a veterinarian is mandatory in order to obtain permissions to enter Hong Kong.
  6. Pet Passport – This document verifies that the puppy is fully healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations.
  7. Captain’s Affidavit – Document to be provided by the airline personnel confirming that your dog has not left its crate or interacted with other pets at any point during the journey.


* Hong Kong classifies countries into 3 groups. Vaccinations against rabies are only required from Groups 2 & 3.
  • Group 1: Rabies-free countries (at least 6 months of residency) Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Bailiwick of Jersey.
  • Group 2: Rabies-controlled (at least 4 months of residency) Austria, Bahrain, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Guam, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Belgium, Brunei, Cayman Island, Denmark, France, Gibraltar, Iceland, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, USA (Continental), Virgin Islands.
  • Group 3: All other countries.
** Only for puppies from high-risk countries
Travel Requirements

The following is needed to bring a puppy into Switzerland:


  1. All pets entering Switzerland must be equipped with a 15-digit microchip that is compliant with ISO 11784/11785.
  2. Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper.
  3. Rabies vaccinations are mandatory. Dogs must receive their first rabies vaccine at least 21 days before entering the country.*
  4. The state veterinarian of the origin country must equip the dog with a valid Health Certificate.
  5. Import Permit – all dogs entering from a 3rd level rabies country must carry an import permit issued at least three weeks in advance. Entry points through Basel, Geneva, Zurich.
  6. Different regulations depending on whether it is a commercial purchase or individual and where the dog is coming from.


* Specifications differ for booster shots. ** Switzerland categorises countries by level of risk of rabies in three levels.
  • Level 1: All EU Member States and Andorra, Switzerland, Faeroe Islands, Gibraltar, Greenland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Northern Ireland, Norway, San Marino, Vatican City State.
  • Level 2 (Low Risk of Rabies): Ascension Island, United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Aruba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Barbados, Bahrain, Bermuda,Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Belarus, Canada, Chile, Curaçao, Fiji, Falkland Islands, Great Britain (including Crown dependencies), Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cayman Islands, Saint Lucia, North Macedonia, Montserrat, Mauritius, Mexico, Malaysia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Russia, Singapore, Saint Helena, Sint Marteen, Trinidad and Tobago, Taiwan, United States of America, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna.
  • Level 3: All other countries are considered as having a high risk of rabies.
Travel Requirements